(Laura Simon) [Order this photo]
Tickets for the orchestra section and about a third of the grandstand were sold before Saturday night, and tickets were selling quickly before the concert started, despite some rain.
Many of those who came out were seeing Ford live for the first time, according to a show of hands the singer asked for.
Fair volunteer Lisa Weiss said the crowd consisted of all ages but that Ford's crowd appeared younger than the other fair concerts. The fair board was "trying to get an entertainer that would appeal to a younger crowd" and Ford fit that description, she said.
Archie McCoy of Marble Hill, Mo., and his wife were among the group who got to go backstage before the concert to meet Ford and the band. They got their backstage passes through Christy's employer, RapcoHorizon, which made the cables the band uses.
"They couldn't play without them," McCoy said.
With lights, a smoke machine and screens on either side of the stage, Ford came out to a standing ovation singing "Answer to No One." That was followed by "It's a Country Thang" which was recorded with Eric Church. Ford played songs from his new album, "Declaration of Independence," as well as songs from older albums.
In between songs Ford wished various people a happy birthday. He also dedicated "Ride Through the Country" to servicemen, firefighters and police officers. Ford told the audience he "ain't never had a bad time in Missouri."
Arena Park, Cape Girardeau, MO